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Poetry Speaks: Hear Great Poets Read Their Work from Tennyson to Plath
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Poetry Speaks: Hear Great Poets Read Their Work from Tennyson to Plath

4.4  ·  Rating Details ·  380 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
Poetry Speaks features the work of the most influential writers in modern poetry-written and performed-from 1892 to 1997. This book combines their most significant poems in print with the authors themselves reading their poetry on audio CD. Poets range from Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Walt Whitman, T.S. Eliot and Dorothy Parker to Langston Hughes, Allen Ginsberg, Sylvia Plath a ...more
Hardcover, with 3 CDs, 352 pages
Published October 1st 2001 by Sourcebooks MediaFusion
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(showing 1-30 of 650)
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May 05, 2013 Matt rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetic-rapture

Vital if for no other reason than the fact that there are so many amazing poets reading their work in what are often rare, ancient, crackly and precious recordings.

Most of this stuff is widely available on record, of course, but it's pretty comprehensive and wide-ranging.

There's nothing quite like hearing the poet read their own work aloud, either, and there's nothing better than the thrill that you get when you hear the way their voice shivers or cracks or trembles when they read a particu
Jan 10, 2008 J rated it really liked it
This book is ridiculously large. It's meant to adorn your coffee table and I guess that's okay. You'll look smart. The CDs are the thing though. "We think of poetry as words on a page. But it is in the poet's own voice - in the rhythms, inflections and intonations - where the poem comes alive and the words take on the power and passion of the poet."
Dec 22, 2013 Ruth rated it it was amazing
It's hard to fully communicate how much I love this anthology and accompanying audio CDs. I get the chills every time I hear Carl Sandburg reading his own poem "Grass." What an almost-operatic crescendo he creates on some of those rhythmic phrases! And it's fantastic listening to Langston Hughes read the marvelous "The Negro Speaks of Rivers," or Dorothy Parker's dry wit in her rendition of "One Perfect Rose." Yes, it's superlative on its own, but with the audio soundtrack of many of the poems i ...more
Mar 24, 2016 Ahenobarbus rated it it was amazing
My debt to this volume & its CDs is immeasurable. It shifted my sights (at the whelp's age of just-seventeen) from a tail-chase amid the Confessionalists & introduced me to the Modernists, particularly the trine that would revise my poetics, guide my future academic pursuits, rule me, advance me: Pound, H. D., Eliot. It also seeded my eventual deep admiration for Berryman some eleven years later. I still listen to the included recordings & find myself occasionally chanting staves of ...more
Mar 10, 2009 e rated it it was ok
Shelves: poems
What I liked about this, I really liked, what I did not, I really did not.

It did contain some rare and interesting audio .
Nov 21, 2013 Zaahir rated it it was amazing
Poetry Speaks by Elise Paschen is an non-fictional book about various authors. The book tells about all the authors back round, their accomplishments, and the school they went to. It shows authors authors from Robert Browning to Walter Whiteman. Its shows authors poetry. Also it has a CD to go along with the book.

There was 3 things I like about this book. First, thing I liked about this book is how it gave facts in chronological order. Secondly, I liked about this book is how it got people to
Donna Merritt
Aug 28, 2014 Donna Merritt rated it it was amazing
This is a must-have volume for poetry lovers. Not only do you get to read about the lives of the best 20th century poets, but you get to hear them reading their own work on three CDs. It's amazing. In addition, I loved learning new things through the biographical sketches on each poet. Also a plus were the personal essays from some of today's best-known poets—though some were a bit too analytical (I liked the personal insights best, such as the piece on Muriel Rukeyser by Sharon Olds) and some I ...more
Dec 22, 2015 Jason rated it liked it
Fascinating recordings.
R.K. Cowles
Aug 06, 2016 R.K. Cowles rated it really liked it
4 1/2 stars
Brenda Moffitt
Jul 14, 2014 Brenda Moffitt rated it it was amazing
You know how you go to a new restaurant and ALL the appetizers sound delicious and you can't decide which to try, so you order the sampler platter and it's really good for what it is? Some of the poets leave you ravenous for more, and others make you wish you'd never taken a bite of them... but at least now you know. That's what this book is - an introduction to poetry. Although some of the earlier recordings (ie Tennyson) are of horrible audio quality, it's electrifying to hear their garbled vo ...more
Terence Carlisle
How eerie and wonderful to hear the scratchy old recordings of Tennyson and Browning and Whitman, the clipped English-like tones of early 20th century American poets like Stein and cummings and Stevens and Frost, the searing and emotional readings of Lowell and Sexton and the caustic rage of Sylvia Plath...a wonderful collection and resource.
Sep 11, 2012 Sandi rated it it was amazing
I bought this book because I thought it was an AMAZING idea and I wasn't disappointed. I was teaching at the time, and there is nothing more powerful to students than hearing a Langston Hughes poem they've heard a hundred times actually read by its writer. Any time they came across a poem ANYWHERE in their lives, my students would come back and ask me whether there was anything by the poet on the CDs. Wonderful idea, very well executed.
Apr 08, 2011 Jamie rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
Got about halfway through this and wanted a break. It's dense and really interesting but Maxine Kumin's "Where I Live" has been calling me from the shelf at the library for weeks now. Oh, and the audio is not what I would call an enhancement--more often than not the readings are weird or disturbing due to either poor quality (for the very earliest recordings, obviously) or to the "performance" of the poet him/herself.
Aug 11, 2013 Catherine rated it really liked it
It was interesting to hear famous poets read their own works (even though some are not as eloquent as one would expect - ex. Robert Frost was monotone and rather unexpressive!) It has enough poets and poems that it would take many months to work through... I need another library loan or two or three to get to the authors I wanted to read/hear!
Aug 05, 2007 Bob rated it it was amazing
This got some press when released in 2001. Although the book is hefty and well-designed, it is the three audio cds with the artists reading their own works that make it worth the investment. Includes audio of Whitman, Pound, Yeats, Hughes, Plath, Sexton, and many others. Some of the voices, like OHara, strike you and some, like Auden, disappoint.
Feb 03, 2008 Michelle rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
As poetry is meant to be heard, this anthology is music to your ears! Listen and experience poetry read aloud by the author. Some of the old and crackly recordings are a little creepy (like Alfred, Lord Tennyson), but some others allow you to experience your favorite poem the way it was meant to be ingested.
Dec 17, 2007 Lindsay rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
I love this anthology because it comes with three CD's that have recordings of the different poets reading the poems featured in the text. The selection of poetry is good, and the recordings questioned my previous interpretations of the poetry. It's a refreshing and invigorating look at the classics.
Feb 28, 2009 Cheryl rated it liked it
Shelves: brain-exercise
This was like a poetry immersion class and I wanted to retry the classic poets and poems and hear their voices reading their poems. Nothing inspired me like a Mary Oliver poem, none even came close. But it was interesting... The first CD was missing so I am disappointed I missed Walk Whitman.
Apr 16, 2009 Suzanne rated it it was amazing
In honor of National Poetry Month I downloaded all 3 CDs... it's trippy to try and listen to Tennyson or some of the early recordings but it sends chills up my spine just the same. And I finally found that one poem from Poetry 101!! It's by Roethke.
Matt Smith
Apr 26, 2008 Matt Smith rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: afficionados of such
Worth 4 stars because you DO actually get to hear the pieces read by the poets themselves.
the 5th star is for Walt Whitman's voice being available as well.
It's haunting to think you're hearing his voice reading to you from as far back as 1860-something.
I am not a fan of poetry.
but I loved this book for hearing the poets speak there own words made me love poetry.
As one author put it " you can learn to like something by watching someone else love it."
that is my similar reaction to this book
Jan 25, 2008 angrykitty rated it really liked it
ok.....the really awesome part of this book, aside from the fact that it containes some really calssic poems, is that it also comes with a cd with the poems read. i've taught poetry before, and this has come in really handy.
Jan 31, 2008 John rated it really liked it
Again, it's poetry. Very neat to hear Whitman speak. Also Wiliam Carlos Williams reads "The Red Wheelbarrow" for some reason thats one of the only poems I can remember from school, but I love it.
Aug 13, 2007 MBC rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
I really want to love this book more than I do. The concept is great--poems read by the poets--but I still wander away from it every time I try to listen. Maybe I'm just a philistine.
Feb 04, 2008 Leslie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
It is incredible to actually hear people like Robert Frost, Sylvia Plath, even Walt Whitman read their own poetry. This book/cd set is something to experience
Nov 09, 2008 Freya rated it it was amazing
Indispensable for teachers of English. It is so powerful for students to hear the poets read their own works.
Jun 04, 2015 Joseph rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book, It is one of my favorite books of Poetry. Charles Osgood reads these poems so well.
Sep 13, 2008 Vicki rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Very cool book. The selection is good, and it is interesting to hear the poems read by their authors.
Jun 18, 2007 Mike rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry-owned
Kind of too coffee-table for my tastes, but it comes with 3 CDs of readings, from Tennyson to Plath.
Dec 22, 2008 DDog rated it it was amazing
Hearing these famous works of poetry in the poets' own voices is incredible.
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